DTC brands have moved beyond being online-only, to becoming more fully omni-channel. Leading DTC brands are rolling out offline stores rapidly.
In the aftermath of Covid lockdowns (where digital surged), there is a rebalancing currently underway, with offline sales rebounding, while online has slowed significantly.
It is now essential for DTC brands to have offline retail strategies. While that could mean opening up ‘owned’ shops, there are other avenues open to DTC brands;
- Organizing short-term retail (eg. pop-ups) through platforms like Storefront, who package retail real estate into shorter time period for smaller brands (or brands testing a new city)
- Selling through DTC specialty department stores such as Showfields
- Leveraging wholesalers and distributors into new geographies
- Opening up and selling through larger omni-channel retailers (Walmart, Costco, Target and Amazon)
As DTC brands become more multi-channel, customer engagement is the key to maintaining the principles of being customer-first and customer focused. The link between mobile-social, together with customer service (chat) and engagement (asking customers what they want, like …and dont like) are the difference between success and failure as DTCs become more multi-channel. Mobile, social, chat and conversational AI all provide important links as audiences move between channels.